Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Important insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing exam?

What is a Hearing Exam?

Out of the various types of hearing tests, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic exam. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at different pitches and volumes.

Another typical hearing test consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are capable of interpreting sounds accurately. At times, this test is purposely done with background sound to find out whether that affects your hearing. To be able to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear individually.

What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?

Whether a person has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test identifies. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. Using this test specialist can determine if the hearing loss is:

  • Profound
  • Moderate to severe
  • Severe
  • Mild
  • Moderate

The level of impairment is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.

What Else do Hearing Tests Determine?

There are also test that can evaluate the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how clearly someone hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the kind of hearing loss.

Other health concerns can also be revealed by a hearing examination like:

  • Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Otosclerosis, which if caught early can possibly be reversed.
  • Diabetes. Impaired blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by too much sugar in the blood.
  • Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
  • Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.

The insight from the hearing exam can be used by the expert to figure out if you have the following:

  • Another medical problem causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
  • Damage from exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
  • Damage from trauma
  • Age related hearing loss
  • Tumors
  • Abnormal bone growths
  • Injury from chronic infections or disease

You can look for ways to safeguard your health and manage your loss of hearing once you understand why you have it.

The hearing expert will also examine the results of the examination to identify risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and create a preemptive strategy to decrease those risks.

What Are The Risks of Neglecting Hearing Loss?

Medical science is beginning to realize how hearing loss affects a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that those with loss of hearing have a greater risk of dementia. The more substantial the hearing loss, the greater the risk.

According to this study, someone with mild hearing loss has 2 times the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.

Also, social decline is evident in those with hearing loss. People who have difficulty hearing conversations will avoid having them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with friends and family.

A recent bout of exhaustion might also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to translate sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. It has to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is hearing loss. That robs your other senses of energy and makes you feel tired all the time.

Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between hearing loss and depression, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or minimize these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for proper treatment.

An expert hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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